Fall sports preview

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Senior midfielder E.J. Moore (left) dribbles past his teammate and fellow senior, Jay Wheeler (right), during practice Thusday. The Tiger’s first game is September 1 at 7:00 p.m .. SAM CARAVANA / THE DEPAUW
Senior midfielder E.J. Moore (left) dribbles past his teammate and fellow senior, Jay Wheeler (right), during practice Thusday. The Tiger’s first game is September 1 at 7:00 p.m .. SAM CARAVANA / THE DEPAUW
Senior midfielder E.J. Moore (left) dribbles past his teammate and fellow senior, Jay Wheeler (right), during practice Thusday. The Tiger’s first game is September 1 at 7:00 p.m .. SAM CARAVANA / THE DEPAUW

Men’s cross country

Head Coach: Kori Stoffregen

Last Year’s Finish: 12/36 at NCAA Great Lakes Regional (Terre Haute, IN)

Key Returning Runners: Senior Brad Wise, junior Polo Burguete and sophomores Paul Christian and Zach Batt.

Coach’s Comments: “Our top three guys are about as good as anybody in the conference and in the region. But it takes five guys to have a really good team. So it’s finding… more guys that really can put things together…It’s just (finding) that depth. I kind of feel like the pieces are there…to potentially do really well in a conference and regional setting.”

Coach’s Goals Heading into the Season: “Ultimately, we are training for two key races in the end of the season: conference and regionals. Our goal is to stay consistent and focused throughout the season. For now, we have a handful of guys that have put in a good amount of miles and will do very well– provided they don’t get injured.”

First Meet: Sept. 2 at Titan Opener (hosted by Illinois Wesleyan).


Women’s cross country

Head Coach: Kori Stoffregen

Last Year’s Finish: 102/280 at NCAA Division III Championships at Claudia Monnett (Oshkosh, Wis.).

Key Returning Runners: Seniors Claudia Monnett, Lois Miller, Becca Conley and sophomore Megan Ozog.

Coach’s Comments: “We’ve got a significant group of seniors… If they can pull together and really do what they need to do, the women’s team could be much improved and have a chance to do some really nice things. Definitely being in the hunt for a conference championship and doing well at regionals. We’re just going to need some support from some underclassmen with that senior group. It’ll be interesting to see how the women come together there.”

Coach’s Goals Heading into the Season: “Our focus has always been on the last third of the season, so we’re not really doing anything crazy racing wise until October… In terms of what really means something to us, it’s going to be October.”

First  Meet: Sept. 2 at Titan Opener (hosted by Illinois Wesleyan).


 

Men’s golf

Head Coach: Vince Lazar

Currently, the men’s team roster is not set as they will be holding tryouts on August 26. There will be 15 men competing for a spot on the team at tryouts.

Last years finish: Finished 7th at NCAC Conference Championships.

Key Returning Players: The anticipated key returning starters are incoming senior, Quinn Smith, and incoming junior, Andrew Derringer.

Coach’s Goals Heading Into Season: “For the men’s team, they had a very poor finish at Conference last year, but, it was a double-edged sword. They finished the regular season ranked relatively high in the country, but they just couldn’t bring it together at Conference. And that is why this year we are going to focus specifically on one-on-one.”

First Match: Sept. 3-4: Transy Invitational at University Club of Kentucky.


 

Women’s golf 

Head Coach: Vince Lazar

For women’s golf, things are going to be a bit different this year. There will be no tryouts at the beginning of this season, as Coach Lazar is satisfied with the team’s eight-woman roster as it currently stands.

Last year’s finish: Finished 2nd at NCAC Conference Championships.

Key Returning Players: Incoming sophomores Rachele Miller and Larissa Luloff. Both were all-region and all-conference players last year.

Coach’s Goals Heading into the Season: “The goals for the women are to get back to nationals, it’s been a few years now and we haven’t gotten back to nationals. And we’ve also had a couple of years where we couldn’t win conference, so, trying to win conference and getting back to nationals.”

First Match: Sept. 3-4: Lynn Schweizer Invitational at Denison Golf Club


 

Men’s soccer 

Head Coach: Brad Hauter

Record last year: 12-4-5 (6-1-2 NCAC)

Key Returning Players: Seniors E.J Moore (M), Julian Gonzalez (F) and Tommy Hinkebein (M).

Team Goal: “We’re chasing a national title,” assistant coach Jake Pezzuto said, “we made a great run last year, a historic run for our program, but I think that is just the beginning. As a program, our goal is to win a national title, and that is the goal we will aim for at the start of every season.”

Assistant Coach’s Outlook: “We have an incredibly talented recruiting class coming in, and we have an incredible talent in our returners. It’ll be interesting to see how everything gels out this season,” Pezzuto said. “As the preseason unfolds, we’ll get a clearer idea and clearer picture of what the team dynamic is going to be. But, as of right now, we’re pretty excited to see how the guys perform this season.”

First Game: Sept. 1, vs. Hanover at 7 p.m. at home.


 

Women’s soccer 

Head Coach: Megan McCormick

Finish Last Year: 12-7-2 (7-1-0 NCAC)

Key Returning Players: Senior Riley Riordan (G) and juniors Kathryn Ruark (F),  Maddie Smith (D/M) and Bridget Brendza (F)

Coach’s Comments: “We’re returning a large portion of our roster. We had 32 players on the roster last year with seven who have graduated. But, returning the rest of those players and then adding what we feel like is going to be a really strong, talented, and dedicated first-year class to that mix, I think we’re optimistic and excited to get on the field and start to see how all the pieces fit together. That’s part of the challenge when graduating key players. We need to see how the pieces fit back together in a new system.”

Coach’s Goals Heading into the Season: “We want to continue to build success of the program from last year. We won the conference last year, and that certainly sets a high bar, but I think if we continue to build on that success, we’ll kick on to the national tournament.”

First Game: Sept. 3, vs. Piedmont at 5 p.m. The game will be played at Centre College in Kentucky.


 

Football 

Head Coach: Bill Lynch

Finish last year: 8-2 (7-2 NCAC)

Key Returning Players:  OFFENSE — Seniors Matt Hunt (QB) (first-team all conference), Jason Kirchoff (RB) (all-conference), Ian Good (WR), Eric Brooks (OL), and Cody Campbell (OL); juniora Jake Hagan (WR) and Jeremy Trudell (OL), and sophomore Andy Hunt (WR).

DEFENSE— Seniors Will Longthorn (LB), Thomas Gray (LB), Mike Mitsch (DL), Peter Nelson (DL), Kevin Kiyosaki (DL), Zachary Reichle (DB), Cody Baker (DB), Zac Fouche (DB), and Marko Adams (K)

Coach’s Comments: “We think we’ve got a really good football team. We’ve got a lot of experience at key spots. We have some good young players on our roster. With 139 players out here, we’ve got everyone practicing and competing for positions right now, so we should have good depth. We’re coming off of an 8-2 season, so we’re looking forward to this year. We know it’s going to be challenging, but we’ve got to take them one at a time, so that’s the approach we have to take.”

Coach’s Goals Heading into the Season: “Our goal is to win the NCAC Conference Championship. We played against Wabash for the Championship last year and didn’t get it done. So, obviously our goal is to win the championship… There’s a lot of good teams in the league, but our goal every year is to win the conference championship and beat Wabash.”

First Game: Sept. 10, vs. Mt. St. Joseph at 1 p.m. The game will be played at Blackstock Stadium.


 

Women’s Volleyball Season Preview

Head Coach: Deborah Zellers

Record last year: 19-11 (5-3 NCAC)

Key Returning Players:  Seniors Elisabeth Wilson (MH), Nicole Burge (RS) and Rachel Lenderman (DS); juniors Emily Beckes (DS) and Haley Bitzer (MH); and sophomore Suzanne Peters (OH).

Last Season Reflection: “Last year was a tough year for us,” Zellers said, “we fell short of our goals and it was stressful because we had a lot of injuries and we had high expectations because in the two previous years we had been in the national tournament.”

Coach’s Comments: “I’m really excited about all of the work we’ve put in. We’ve invested a lot in terms of important things that go into a program. We have a really strong force in our returning players, and we’re also welcoming a freshman class that is very talented. So, as a coach, I’m more excited for this season than I have been in any other year that I’ve coached, and this is my 23rd year. I see a lot of potential in this group.”

Coach’s Goals Heading into the Season: “Last season, we were too focused on outcomes for our team. However, during this offseason, we had 9 returning players that really came together to work on our team culture, to work on our leadership, and our trust. So, this spring we really came together as a culture-knit team. We’re very focused this year on the process. So, trying to take the pressure off of outcomes by really focusing on day to day details and day to day effort and the outcomes will then take care of themselves.”

First Game: Sept. 3, vs. Edgewood at 4 p.m.. The game will be played at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri.